It is Arrival Day for the 2019 U.S. National Junior Team here in Everett. Players and staff members arrived in waves, first flying into Seattle before taking a bus up to Everett.
John Vanbiesbrouck (Detroit, Mich.), assistant executive director of hockey operations for USA Hockey, is serving as Team USA's general manager. Mike Hastings (Crookston, Minn.), head coach at Minnesota State, has been tabbed head coach and is joined by assistant coaches David Lassonde (Durham, N.H.), Steve Miller (Sun Prairie, Wis./Ohio State University), Scott Sandelin (Hibbing, Minn./University of Minnesota Duluth) and Jerry Keefe (Saugus, Mass./Northeastern University).
USA Hockey unveiled its 29-player preliminary roster on Dec. 5 live on NHL Network's "NHL Now." The roster includes five returnees from the bronze medal-winning 2018 U.S. National Junior Team and 12 other players who have helped the U.S. win a medal in IIHF competition. The final 23-player U.S. roster is expected to be named by Dec. 23.
In the late evening, with everyone in town, the U.S. players and staff convened in a team room for dinner and a team meeting. Topics ranged from staff expectations to travel logistics to media obligations while here in Everett.
"This is a chance to represent yourselves, your family and your country," said coach Hastings. "Those who came before you have built a legacy -- and a winning one at that. This is our time to add to that, and to create something to remember."